1/08/2015

Credit Rating Agencies in Korea: Due Diligence of Your Supplier, Franchisee, Joint Venture Partner & Distributors

Korea has established four credit rating agencies.  The four agencies are: National Information & Credit Evaluation (NICE); Korea Investor Services (KIS); Korea Ratings (KR); and Seoul Credit Rating & Information (SCRI).

Some reports provided by these rating agencies are provided in English.  However, many of the English reports are not complete.  Thus, it is advisable to make sure if you have an English version of a report that it is same as the Korean version of the report.

Additionally, it is best to have someone with knowledge of the Korean business climate review the reports, since some clues to issues are unique to Korea.

Some companies are required to have a credit rating performed by a Korean rating agency.  If a company wishes to issue asset-based securities and unsecured bonds the company, in Korea, will need to apply for a credit rating via one of the Korean credit rating agencies.  Many Korean companies, even, if they do not issue unsecured bonds will apply for a credit rating from one of the Korean credit rating agencies.

We, strongly, recommend performing a complete due diligence on any company you intend to do business with in Korea.   The due diligence should include a credit report.  This includes relationships you build with Korean distributors, joint venture partners, wholesalers, retailers, franchisees and of course companies you intend to invest in.
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Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw.